By Ken Reed
An Oregon high school football player has filed a $38 million lawsuit against the local school district claiming it failed to properly handle a concussion injury he suffered during a football game.
Connor Martin was cleared to play while still experiencing concussion symptoms. In a following game, he was knocked unconscious and suffered severe symptoms, which worsened later that evening.
Martin’s mom found him at home “curled up in the fetal position on the couch, sobbing because of a severe headache,” according to the lawsuit. The suit also states that Martin would fall while attempting to walk and vomited throughout the night.
Today, Martin continues to struggle in his efforts at recovery. The lawsuit says he suffers from vision and balance problems, headaches, and light sensitivity. He hasn’t been able to return to school due to the brain injury.
As parents become more educated regarding the growing mound of brain trauma and concussion research, the number of these type of lawsuits will continue to rise. Football-related risk and liability will be hard to contain for school districts and their insurers. And, when risk and liability can’t be contained, insurance premium costs will shoot up, making the sponsoring of football cost prohibitive for middle schools and high schools.
In the coming years, as participation numbers continue to decline for middle school and high school football, and the number of brain trauma-related lawsuits starts to rise, the future of school-sponsored football programs will become bleaker and bleaker.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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